Monastery of St Saviour

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Monastery of St. Saviour
St. Saviour Church (Jerusalem).jpg
Monastery information
Other names San Salvidor
Established 1560
Diocese Archdiocese of Jerusalem
Archbishop Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem(currently Fouad Twal)
Architect Father Raffaelle Cingolani da Montecassiano
Style Manerism-influenced
Completed date November 29, 1885
Location Jerusalem

The Monastery of St Saviour (locally also known as San Salvador monastery) is a Franciscan monastery located east of Jerusalem's New Gate, inside the city wall, on 1 St. Francis Street. The site was purchased from the Georgian Christians in 1560, and the monastery was constructed in stages. The church was built 1885, and was renovated in 1985. The site includes a printing press, an organ workshop, a library and a school.


The monastery was built in several stages on a site transferred to the Franciscan Order from the Georgian Orthodox Church in 1558-1559 by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent.[1]

Because the old church building was no longer considered sufficient for the needs of the parish, in 1850 Sultan Abdülmecid I granted the order permission to demolish the old church and build a new one in its place, under the condition that the new church be no bigger than the old one.[1] Official support for the construction of the church was provided by Austro-Hungarian emperor Franz Joseph I during his visit to Jerusalem in 1869. Originally, Franz Joseph I made his contribution on the condition that the church would be built according to the plans of his own architect. Although the leaders of the order rejected this condition, he agreed to contribute about 60,000 franks for its construction. The construction of the present church building took three years and was completed on November 29, 1885.

The church's architect, Father Raffaele Cingolani, was inspired by the work of Italian architect Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola.[1] The church is built in the typical style of a basilica. Unlike most churches, built on an east-west axis with the apse and the altar in the east, St. Saviour's is built along a north-south axis. A clock tower is located on the side of the church. In 1932, two stories were added to the clock tower in honor of the 700th anniversary of the death of Saint Anthony of Padua. In 1985, the church and monastery were renovated in honor of the hundredth anniversary of its construction.

Over the years, a school for boys and girls, a printing press and an organ workshop were built on the monastery compound, and are still in operation today.


Further reading[edit]

  • Wager, Eliyahu: Illustrated Guide to Jerusalem, The Jerusalem Publishing House, Ltd. (1988), pp 105–106

Coordinates: 31°46′44″N 35°13′39″E / 31.77889°N 35.22750°E / 31.77889; 35.22750